FOURTH COMMITTEE, APPROVING WORK PROGRAMME, AGREES TO CONSIDER PEACEKEEPING, DECOLONIZATION, ISRAELI PRACTICES, OUTER SPACE, ATOMIC RADIATION ITEMS

2 October 2008
GA/SPD/395

FOURTH COMMITTEE, APPROVING WORK PROGRAMME, AGREES TO CONSIDER PEACEKEEPING, DECOLONIZATION, ISRAELI PRACTICES, OUTER SPACE, ATOMIC RADIATION ITEMS

2 October 2008
General Assembly
GA/SPD/395
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

Fourth Committee

1st Meeting (AM)

FOURTH COMMITTEE, APPROVING WORK PROGRAMME, AGREES TO CONSIDER PEACEKEEPING,

DECOLONIZATION, ISRAELI PRACTICES, OUTER SPACE, ATOMIC RADIATION ITEMS

In a brief organizational meeting today, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) approved its work programme for the current session, during which it would consider more than a dozen topics ranging from the peaceful uses of outer space to a review of peacekeeping operations and the decolonization of the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Meeting for the first time since the start of the General Assembly’s sixty-third session, Chairperson Jorge Argüello ( Argentina) introduced Vice-Chairpersons Amr Elsherbini ( Egypt), Alexandru Cujba ( Moldova) and Elmer Cato ( Philippines), as well as the Committee’s Rapporteur Paulá Parviainen ( Finland).

According to its work programme (document A/C.4/63/L.1), the Committee would consider a cluster of items relating to decolonization, among them the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, during a general debate from 6 to 10 October.  An aide-memoire and an addendum (documents 01/08 and 01/08/Add.1), containing 71 requests for hearings related to the questions of Gibraltar, Guam, New Caledonia, the United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara, were issued.  The Chief Minister of Gibraltar would also make a statement, the Chairperson announced.

Three meetings would be devoted to considering peaceful uses of outer space, from 13 to 15 October.  The Committee agreed today to establish a working group on outer space, to be chaired by Colombia.

During a morning meeting on 16 October, the Committee would consider the effects of atomic radiation.  It was decided, in line with a proposal by Canada’s representative, that the related resolution would not be taken up on the day the item was discussed, but on a later date to allow for more preparation time.

The Committee would also take up questions relating to information, from 17 to 22 October, and hold a comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations, from 23 to 28 October.

It would also consider the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from 29 to 31 October.  From 4 to 6 November, it would take up the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.

Panels and interactive dialogues were scheduled under items on outer space, atomic radiation, the question of information, peacekeeping and UNRWA.  The panel on outer space would address “Food Security and Space Applications”, the Chairperson said.

The Committee expected to complete its work by Friday, 7 November, once action had been taken on all draft resolutions submitted under the last two agenda items related to the Middle East.

The Fourth Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Monday, 6 October, to begin its consideration of the issues relating to the implementation of the decolonization Declaration.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.